While the postseason won't completely be defined until Texas and Tampa Bay play game 163 later today, I thought it would be fun to draft the All 2013 Postseason Team. The player pool will only include players who are headed for October (and both the Rangers and Rays since I want to write this article now, before the game is decided). I will use standard rotisserie rosters but with only one catcher, three starting pitchers and two relievers. Let's take a look at the squad:
Catcher: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
Molina just gets the edge over Mike Napoli here in my opinion. While Napoli provides slightly more runs+RBI's and more power, his average, while it didn't hurt your team, certainly didn't help it either. This pick is the one I feel least confident about.
First Base: Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
Freeman was my first base target heading into 2013 drafts and he's my selection here as well. While a little more power from your first baseman would be ideal, his 23 homers still have value at the position. Freeman's 108 RBI's ranks third at the position and his .319 BA ranks first among actual first baseman (Matt Carpenter and Michael Cuddyer are both eligible at 1B, but would not likely be started there.
Second Base: Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians
The power/speed combo (17 home runs - 29 stolen bases) that Kipnis brings to the table just edges out the very impressive Matt Carpenter, for the starting spot at the keystone position. While Jason's .282 BA ranks 12th among qualified second basemen, in the overall build of a team, it's a welcome addition.
Short Stop: Hanley Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers
While Elvis Andrus had a better season at the dish than Ramirez in terms of overall production, I'll still take what Hanley provides when he's on the field. In 86 games played for the Dodgers this season, Hanley was still able to post a 20 HR, 62/57 R/RBI, 10 SB, .345 BA, roto line for his owners. Meanwhile over half of Andrus value came in stolen bases alone. I'll spread the wealth with Hanley here.
Third Base: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
Not much to say here. Miggy is really fricken good and should be the second or third player selected in drafts next season.
Middle Infielder: Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
If I were really building a team to play an entire 162 game schedule, I'd probably select Andrus, as Hanley has had plenty of health issues recently. Since this is more for fun, I'm happy to roster Mr. Carpenter and his 126 runs scored. Not only does Carpenter provide 34 more runs at the middle infield position over Daniel Murphy, who is next at the position, but his .320 BA is also tops among qualified hitters.
Corner Infielder: Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers
This team needs some more power and it almost lead me to select Pedro Alvarez (can you guys believe the Pirates are headed to the postseason?). Unfortunately the drain in BA is not something I wanted to add and Beltre did smash 30 homers this year. With 177 Runs/RBI's and a .315 BA on the year, Beltre gets the nod at CI.
Outfield: Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
Across the board production is my favorite. 2013 saw McCutchen post a 97 R, 21 HR, 84 RBI, 27 SB, .317 BA, fantasy line and is a great addition to this roster. (Really guys, the Pirates are going to the postseason)
Outfield: Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds
I'm actually a little worried about Jay Bruce going into next year (A diminishing contact rate, high swinging strike percentage and a strike out rate continuing to climb, are a big part of the reason). That said, his 2013 numbers will play just fine on this team, as 30 homers and 109 RBI's don't grow on trees.
Outfield: Alex Rios, Texas Rangers
I want to put Jacoby Ellsbury on this team, but between the injury risk and the lower power output, I'll go to the next best thing - Alex Rios. Not only did Rios manage to swipe 42 bags this year, he also put 18 balls over the fence, while going 83/80 in Runs/RBI's. I have no idea where Rios will post his value next year, but he's had back to back very impressive seasons in 2012 and 2013.
Outfield: Matt Holliday, St. Louis Cardinals
Matt Holliday had another productive season in 2013, topping 20 homers, producing 197 Runs/RBI's and hitting .300 yet again. While Holliday is approaching his mid-thirties, he's as constant as ever and yet again a very solid foundation piece.
Outfield: Coco Crisp, Oakland Athletics
Okay, I know there's other deserving players for the last outfield spot, but Crisp has had quite a season himself. Entering 2013, Coco's career high in homers was 16 back in 2005. Crisp managed 22 round trippers this season to go along with 21 SB's and an impressive 66 RBI's c considering he spent the majority of the year hitting lead off.
Starting Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
There is nothing I could type that could make Kershaw's numbers sound even more godly. 2013: 16 Wins, 232 K's, 1.83 Whip (ONE-POINT-EIGHT-THREE), 0.92 WHIP, over 236 IP. Yeah.
Starting Pitcher: Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers
Side story on Scherzer. At my AL Only Auction this spring I went toe to toe with another owner for Scherzer's services. The bid approached $29.00 and another owner yelled out "Guys, this isn't Verlander", but we continued on. I hit it at $30.00 expecting the other owner to drop out, but he called out $31, and frustrated, I let him go. Considering this is a keeper league, Scherzer was the last of the aces available, so I didn't do myself any favors. I ended up with Josh Johnson as my ace by the way. Yeah, it was a rough year.
Starting Pitcher: Adam Wainwright, St Louis Cardinals
Wainwright proved he's fully back this season and provided his owner's with 19 Wins and 219 K's. A Sub 3.00 ERA and WHIP barely above 1.00 makes Wainwright a top 3 starter this season, behind only the two names you see above.
Relief Pitcher: Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves
50 saves - check, nearly 100 K's (98), check, ERA under 1.25 (1.23) check, Sub 1.00 WHIP (0.88) check. Kimbrel is amazing.
Relief Pitcher: Joe Nathan, Texas Rangers
Even at 38 years old, Nathan provided owners with 73 K's in 64.2 IP to go along with what we're all looking for - 40+ saves (43 on the year)
Enjoy the postseason everyone.